Friday, August 01, 2008


This really makes me feel old. I was in high school and remember buying the album when it first came out.

It was 37 years ago today (August 1st, 1972) that George Harrison and friends performed the legendary Concert For Bangladesh at New York City's Madison Square Garden. Harrison organized the shows at the urging of his mentor, sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, who asked Harrison to help raise and awareness for his native, famine stricken East Pakistan, by then renamed Bangladesh.

Harrison sprang into action and rounded up a variable who's who in the rock community, including fellow Beatles bandmate Ringo Starr, the semi-reclusive Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Badfinger, and well over a dozen horn players and singers. With the world's eyes on him, Harrison planned rock's first global fundraiser, as well as his debut as a solo performer.

Harrison had actually asked his feuding ex-bandmates John Lennon and Paul McCartney to perform at the concert as well. According to several sources, McCartney initially agreed, but only if Lennon also performed, with the two playing separate solo sets. McCartney, who was days away from announcing the formation of his solo band Wings, eventually backed out, stating that there were too many legal problems yet to be sorted out among the former Beatles and their then manager Allen Klein for them to appear on the same stage.

Lennon was reportedly all for appearing, until Harrison informed Lennon that only he, and not wife Yoko Ono, was invited to participate. After a long argument with Yoko about whether to perform, Lennon flew to Paris alone and in a rage, missing the entire show, and causing a major rift in Lennon and Harrison's relationship.

Harrison never formally asked Ringo Starr to play; Starr took it upon himself to tell Harrison he'd be there. Harrison also reportedly turned down offers from Mick Jagger and David Crosby, who asked to appear.

Due to overwhelming ticket demand, in the days before the show, a second afternoon performance was added. Although there was about a week of rehearsals that took place above Carnegie Hall, due to the various musicians' schedules the benefit's afternoon performance was the first time that the entire ensemble actually played together.

Harrison's first wife Pattie Boyd says that no one expected the event to end up as the historic event it has become: "Well, of course we didn't know it was going to be the biggest concert in history. We knew it was going to be a very big concert, and he clearly hoped to raise a lot of money. And as far as I remember I think I flew in a couple of days before the show."

Harrison wasn't sure until the last minute that Dylan would actually turn up for the show, and can even be seen in the movie of the concert peering into the wings to see if Dylan actually was there before introducing him.

Although Eric Clapton was invited to be the show's lead guitarist, he was in such bad shape while dealing with his heroin addiction that Taj Mahal's Jesse Ed Davis was deputized to play and pick up whatever musical slack Clapton might leave behind.

Boyd, who after her divorce from Harrison went on to marry Clapton, recalled that everyone was worried about his health at the time: "I remember that it was a pretty major, wonderful show, fantastic show. But there was a bit of concern about Eric when he flew in because of the problems that he had at that time, and everyone was really concerned. And I think this sense of concern was everywhere, really."

The show featured Harrison performing selections from his recent Number One album All Things Must Pass, including the chart topper "My Sweet Lord," as well as Beatles classics such as "Here Comes The Sun," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," and "Something." Starr took the lead on his recent Top Five Harrison-produced hit "It Don't Come Easy," and Dylan performed a set of his '60s classics including "Blowin' In The Wind," "Mr. Tambourine Man," and "Just Like A Woman," while backed by Harrison in slide guitar, Starr on tambourine and Leon Russell on bass.

The late Billy Preston got an early ovation with his rousing performance of "That's The Way God Planned It." In 2005, Preston recalled the atmosphere among the musicians at the Bangladesh concerts: "Everybody was just excited and thrilled that it went so well. Everybody had a good time with each other. There was no egos."

The Concert For Bangladesh three-record set peaked at Number Two on the Billboard charts, and went on to win the 1972 Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

The revenues from the concert tickets, live album, movie, VHS, and now recent DVD sales have topped $15 million. The concerts, which were rock's first major charity benefits, paved the way for every benefit that followed.

In 2006, Harrison's widow, Olivia Harrison, appeared at Madison Square Garden on the anniversary of the concerts, when a plaque commemorating the event was placed on the venue's walk of fame.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Concert for Bangladesh was in 1971, not 1972.

9:26 PM, August 01, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good way of telling, and good paragraph to get facts concerning my presentation focus,
which i am going to present in institution of higher education.

Also visit my blog; Http://

9:49 PM, May 15, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At this time it seems like BlogEngine is the top blogging platform out there right now.
(from what I've read) Is that what you're using on your blog?

Take a look at my web blog - Cost accountant salary

10:28 PM, May 15, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be okay. I'm undoubtedly enjoying your
blog and look forward to new updates.

Also visit my weblog; accountant Salary range

1:21 AM, May 16, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thankfulness to my father who told me concerning this website, this website is really remarkable.

Here is my homepage ... fieldwork Uk

8:30 PM, May 16, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very smartly written article.
I will be sure to bookmark it and return to learn extra of your useful
info. Thank you for the post. I will certainly return.

my blog ... free Stuff in stoke on trent

8:45 PM, May 16, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?

Plz answer back as I'm looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. thanks a lot

my blog - funky Fashion jewellery

5:16 AM, May 17, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This info is priceless. When can I find out more?

Here is my blog Free Stuff For Your Home

6:19 PM, May 22, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Link exchange is nothing else but it is only placing
the other person's web site link on your page at suitable place and other person will also do same for you.

Also visit my blog post Cars Insurance calculators

3:48 AM, May 23, 2013  
Blogger Zheng junxai5 said...

louis vuitton handbags
celine handbags
coach factory outlet
longchamp le pliage
retro 11
nike sb janoski
nike air max uk
cheap air jordans
ray ban sunglasses
gucci outlet online
true religion outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
toms wedges
lebron 12
michael kors outlet online
kd 7 shoes
beats by dr dre
coach factory outlet
kobe shoes
timberland boots
michael kors outlet online
ralph lauren outlet
louis vuitton outlet
tory burch boots
michael kors outlet
louboutin shoes
louis vuitton handbags
copy watches
kobe shoes 11
ralph lauren clearance outlet
adidas superstar
air max
michael kors outlet
fitflop shoes
oakley vault
cheap toms
louis vuitton purses
hollister clothing
longchamp outlet
adidas factory outlet

1:42 AM, July 18, 2016  

Post a Comment

<< Home